Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fat LIke Me - Bracing for the Onslaught

Rhubarb custard pie and veggies from the backyard.

colorful carrots, ready to blanch and freeze

by freeacre

I attended the “Food Summit” at the Bend Community College, and it was really quite the event. I was amazed by the participation of so many different people, agencies, farmers, chefs, and individuals - all wanting to be involved in the food localization and sustainability movement. It was well organized, with a renowned main speaker, lots of seminars on different topics, a coming together to share what we learned, and a circle at the end where people committed to what they are going to do to make a difference. Also impressive to me was the large number of younger folks who were in positions of responsibility for the event itself and also for raising the awareness for the pressing need out there for sustainable food. Interestingly, the most underrepresented group was sitting county commissioners or city council representatives. I guess they are not as yet real interested in the problem of “food insecurity” in the area. That’s what they call hunger now - “food insecurity.” Statistically Oregon is second only to Mississippi in food insecurity.

I learned that there are big problems with the local production of food, difficulties with distribution, rules that favor Big Agriculture, and limitations imposed with certification, licensing, permits, and fees to sell locally produced food. On the one hand there is a big push to encourage people to eat healthy, lose weight, and encourage food security. But, on the other hand, Big Agriculture and Big Grocery lobbyists seem to have written the rules to serve themselves. Another surprising problem is that people seem to have forgotten HOW TO COOK! Yup. Over half the people surveyed in Madras, for instance, reported that they don’t know how to cook food from scratch. I guess many people are not watching The Food Channel or picking up any magazines or cookbooks that surround them….hard for me to fathom. Maybe the schools should include cookbooks in their reading programs. I’m serious.

I came away with the renewed purpose to teach people what they can grow and raise in their backyards and to teach them how to cook it. I am hoping that we will be able to use the kitchen at the Grange or Senior Center to present cooking and preserving classes to those who need and want to learn.

But, I attended a session on Health that turned out to be part of a national effort to fix the “huge” problem of obesity in this country. I learned what an enormous liability fat people are to the insurance companies, employers, and everyone and everything you can think of. We use up more gasoline because we are too much of a load in autos. We take off to much time from work because of problems linked to overweight… on and on.

So...just could not resist sending this letter to the young yuppie professional women working for a couple of local hospital programs involved in the new push to identify and fix fat people, and who led the workshops:

Dear Kati and Beth Ann,

After attending the  Food Summit yesterday and the presentations on Obesity and Health, I must write to tell you of my concern. I was the obese woman in the room.... I am, of course, more than that, but when the focus is on weight, "obese"  becomes the definitive perception.

Although I agree that obesity is a very real health challenge in America, I fear that all this emphasis on "teaching obese children and adults how to eat according to the food pyramid" is only going to target the overweight population by the insurance companies and the corporations. In the long run, it will not reduce the weight of the vast majority of obese people, but will insure that we will have a new population to discriminate against. The fat person will become the new "Negro", as the term was used in the old days to keep brown people marginalized and out of the mainstream moneymaking track and in "their place". It is already a reality, and soon it will be justified by all kinds of statistics that prove that we are just a liability to the country and to employers of all kinds. If two people apply for a job, even if the fat person is more qualified, which one will an employer hire? The fat person who is seen as a potential high medical risk that will inevitably cost the insurance company and/or employers more money? I think not.

After all, our economy is contracting due to outsourcing so many of our jobs. They are not coming back. A new segment of the population needs to be taken out of the running for the decreasing number of jobs. Eventually, all sorts of laws and penalties will be instituted on what will be viewed as lazy, ignorant, slobs who are "scientifically" proven to not be worth their weight in anything but scorn. Their genetic code will be labeled substandard. They will be relegated to housecleaning and janitorial jobs with no benefits of any kind. Have you ever watched the movie "Gattaca"? If not, I recommend it. You can rent it from Netflix, and it stars Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawk, and Jude Law.

Just as the American Cancer Society focuses on "finding the cure" for cancer while ignoring the causes of it, the anti-obesity campaigns will focus on eating disorders while ignoring the many other root causes of obesity. Those causes, to my mind are: contaminants in our foods which mimic estrogen, the decreased quality of our soils which render our vegetables lacking in nutrients, the side effects of many of the prescription drugs which makes it almost impossible to lose weight while taking them, the stress most common in the working class, the cost of nutritious food, lack of sleep, the effects of spending too much time in front of the TV set or playing video games, and lack of unstructured free time to play outside for children. Also, of course, the marketing of high fructose corn syrup, chemicals and dyes, in almost all foods marketed for kids or commuters.


Yes, obesity is an important issue. We are being poisoned and fattened up like cows in a feedlot by  Big Agriculture, Big Pharma, Big Business. And talking about it is not going to change it. Eating according to the Food Pyramid is not going to change it, since it was bought and paid for by Big Agra. I never gained as much weight as when I followed the Dean Ornish program for weight loss and heart health. My metabolism seems to be ruined. Even though I was a vegetarian for years. But, that's me. What I am saying is that there is no one right way for everybody. The vast majority of folks who are obese are desperate to lose weight and try everything - mostly to no avail. But, weight loss is Big Business and a lot of people are making big bucks on it.

Personally, I think that it would better serve people to raise consciousness on the issues of poverty, stress, lack of free exercise programs for children, low self-esteem, the side effects of pharmaceuticals in our food, water, and not making a living wage. But, that won't happen. The big money won't let that happen. In this global economy, they need us to be peasants.  Obese people are going to be marginalized and then persecuted in the ways I have said and probably many more that I have not thought of yet. Just watch.

As I have said, I grow my own food and live as sustainably as I can. I am going to organize cooking classes and canning classes once I get the Grange kitchen certified. I am doing this on my own. No legislation involved. Nobody telling me that I "have" to. I will not be paid for it. But pretty soon if the trends continue toward curtailing liberty and choice, the authorities will tell me that I can no longer eat my own food that I grow on my own land without a license, permit, or micro-chipping my animals - all in the name of "food safety."  Then, I guess they will have to kill me for my own good.

Like it or not, fat or thin, smoker or non-smoker, we are all going to die. If I choose to risk dying at 70 rather than 90, it is my choice - or should be in a free society. The only way the young people today are going to have a chance of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is if the whole system gets off our backs. Personally, I think it would take an asteroid hit. As our solar system approaches the center plane of the galaxy, this solution gives me at least a glimmer of hope.

Duck and cover.

I bet they have not received a letter like that before…


Hotspringswizard said...

I often wonder about the connection of things, like did one of the photos ( simplicity suit ) I sent you ( and Murph ) Freeacre perhaps lend itself to the sharing of these thoughts of yours, on this particular subject?

I know something of being overweight, since I was 226 a couple of years ago which was classified as " obese " for my height of 5 foot ten inches. I had been gaining weight gradually the decades since my youth. Finally because some test showed some alarming statistics of my overall health like high blood pressure, very high colesterol, elevated heart rate, etc I was compelled to " try " to alter my negative health path so I hopefully would not just keel over like my dad did at 49 years of age.

I completely changed my diet, began to swim and hike regularly, stopped drinking alcohol, and began to weigh myself regularly to watch for progress. Today I weigh 163, my recently measured heart rate is in the upper 40's to low 50's, my last measure blood pressure was 110 over 60, my last measured colesterol was 165 ( when I started my changes it was 285 ). Ailments that were bothering me like, back pain, hurting knees, and lack of stamina disappeared as problems.

The food pyramid is a corportation construct which is not valid as a guide for eating in my opinion. I eat a very simple diet. Its my opinion that it does not have to be at all complex, hyper varied. I eat two meals a day consisting of simply very limited meats, fruits and vegetables as the bulk of it, no milk products except for skim milk, lots of nuts, very limited breads and pastas, and besides milk I only drink coffee and water. I also think think my abstinance from all alcohol has helped in many ways regarding my weight loss.

I have never used any system to count calories or anything complicated like that to keep track of my food intake. I just eat in such a way that I know my portion size, and I just keep the amounts small enough ( reduce them when needed ) to see the progress on the scale I am seeking. As the weight was removed my ability and interest in excercise increased because it was much less difficult to do it that when I started.

Of course I understand that there are people with special circumstance that make the success I experience in my case that I discussed a much more difficult thing to attain. Those people have their own unique challenges to address and I realize that losing weight for them is clearly harder to achieve.

I think of food now as that which " sustains " me in a healthy condition, and not as a looked forward to " pastime " as I did before. Within this idea I fit in " food satisfaction " to what extent is reasonable. I joke my wife regarding this subject of eating less saying that you just have to " embrace the starvation " :-) But to seriously thats part of it. It is actually very beneficial and part of all of this that your body has lengthy periods long enough that it does not have to be continuously dealing with processing food, as is much the case in the eating habits of so many these day in that they are constantly eating throughout the day.

I am glad that I was able to transform myself back to a healthier condition and now I truly know that ( in my case ) my weight was after all something I could control. Anything like this that can give us more strength and resiliance is going to aid us in dealing with the myriad pressures that will be increasing as collapse conditions unfold.

Good luck with your planned new endeavor in teaching people about growing and cooking food Freeacre! You are such a good person who I respect very highly, as you know already of course :-)

nina said...

Love that letter, perhaps you will not get any response.
I saw where the high fructose corn syrup lobby decided to change the name to "corn sugar". Like that's going to make any diff. Asthmatics can tell you corn syrup is the lung's deadly enemy. Last night I was cutting up an apple for the Guinea Pig's dessert and ate a slice, it seems that apple sugar would be much better for us and sweeter all around. And why not pear sugar or cherry sugar?
The farmer's gazette tells us all we need to know, they have lost the food war to industry's powerful and super wealthy army of lobbyists. It seems that all of Big Ag's leaders trained under the Monsanto principle of strangling the little guy.

Whatever happened to the Home Ec requirement in high school?

If you do get a response, my money is on "lip service", but something could come of it, at least you will make them think.

I had to drive through the breadbasket of the world yesterday and it was pretty deflating. Double decker boxcar trains running parallel to main street which is a city of machinery distributing produce, freight haulers hogging the highways pulling two containers at a time, endless miles of corporate crops around which each crop has a broken down slum village of cheap labor's ramshackle dwellings, its overwhelming the landscape and impossible to imagine how it could ever change other than become more of what it already is. Immigration reform is an old Bush joke and total waste of money. Where's the reform on Big Ag, speaking of joke reforms?

You understand that this situation is book two following The Grapes of Wrath. Everyone got so carried away with the Okies, the plantation masters grew over it into corporations with personhood.

You'll do well with the teaching I am sure. The turnout of the little people shows serious interest. Take it as far as you can and be sure to train others how to continue on their own.

Hotspringswizard said...

New predictions from GEAB:

The Global Systemic Crisis: Towards a Serious Breakdown of the World Economic and Financial System, Spring 2011

.....In this issue we have chosen to present an extract of the anticipation concerning the forthcoming austerity which will be imposed on the United States beginning Spring 2011: « Welcome to the United States of Austerity ».......

As you appropriately noted in your title freeacre, " Bracing for the onslaught "

Pangolin said...

I'm 5'8" and 260 lbs.. Probably 70 lbs of that was added when I was taking anti-depressants. The first time I took anti-depressants there had been a black mold bloom in my brand new house. The doctors I talked to immediately dismissed this as a possible cause of my ill health despite the fact that I was having multiple throat infections also.

The toxins we are subjected to are too numerous to mention. There is nowhere on the planet free from them now as wild game in Siberia and Alaska now concentrate mercury and pcb's in their fats. Try not eating any animal fat in Eskimo country.

I know people who are vegetarians, vegans and even raw foodists who are obese. Okay, I suspect the raw foodies are cheating. Something is hugely, massively, wrong with the chemical balance of what goes in and out of our bodies. I feel like a canary in a coal mine.

I survive by virtue of daily consumption of thorns, Cat’s Claw, Puncture Vine fruits (t. tribulus) and nettle tea along with brown rice. It doesn’t matter what else I eat but if I miss the herbs and rice I start to break down with chronic pain and depressive symptoms.

Remember, fresh air, organic apples, field greens and a daily walk do more for health than any other prescription. Remember what they say to do if you meet the Buddha on the road; that goes double for doctors.

nina said...

You okay there FA? Just checking in...

freeacre said...

Sorry for my absence...I'm still here. Gotta admit that I'm feeling depressed. I appreciate the testimonials from Hot Spring Wizard, Nina, and Pangolin. Very good insights and ideas toward good health. I've been in paperwork hell. I am still fighting the clinic over charging me $197 for my initial visit, which I was told would be $35. Then, I was sent some paperwork to fill out to get on Oregon's supposedly progressive health insurance program. But, when it came to signing it, there was a disclosure that stated that the State would be paying for monthly charges to the managed care outfit which would be paid back upon my death out of my estate. Meaning, I gather, that my house would be sold to pay off the debt, leaving the Murphinator and my son to have whatever was left. I would not have any control over what they decided to spend. So, I wrote them a letter explaining why I was not going to sign up.
There just seems to be no end to the ways these co**su**ers find to grab resources. They probably consider our property as assets and create loans and derivatives out of them as well. Gaaaaaah!

I just ordered two books linked from cryptogon on how to get the hell out of the country. I wanted to see what "The Event" was going to show on TV tonight, so we sat through the program. I can't believe all the interruptions for commercials about cell phones and whatever the assorted accessories and shit and previews of the next program and all the flashing lights and interruptions of thought. God! To think that most people sit through this shit is just abominable to me.
Made that rhubarb custard pie for a political rally for a candidate for county commissioner who wants to make local production of food a central issue of his campaign. Made bread and a rice curry carrot and raisin dish as well. I was the only one who brought a dish that wasn't from a store or restaurant.Everybody else was a yuppie it seemed.
I sorta feel like that character in the Kafta story that woke up and found he was a cockroach.
I'm glad you guys are here.

freeacre said...

well, just when one things that everything is just the same 'ol shit and things just continue to deteriorate... REUTERS has a news story that our nuclear weapons sites have been fucked with by UFO's for years and there will be a press conference about it next Monday...

Huh? From Reuters? Why now? All kinds of weird stuff going on. I added The Alien Project to the link list. Good place to go when I need to get "off world."

Anonymous said...

I just ordered two books linked from cryptogon on how to get the hell out of the country.

FA... if you're really serious about looking into this i'm still a proponent of ecuador (and, were it not for circumstances, would highly likely be there). to that end i highly recommend the daily ramblings of gary scott. here is a recent example... be forewarned that, though free to subscribers, scott's newsletter is a marketing tool for the various seminars he offers which includes international finance and literally everything he writes is either directly or indirectly forwarding that agenda. however, there is a multitude of info to be had in there. he's a huge proponent of the 'problems present opportunities' philosophy. his advice to parties interested in ecuador? "... visit first. Cover some territory. If you like what you see… come and stay as a renter. Learn the ropes. Look for bargains. Then if happy…. buy."

also good is gary phillips and linda mcfarland's

Gotta admit that I'm feeling depressed.

fat like you? hummmmm.... let me put it this way darlin... ed abbey made no bones about wanting to come back as a turkey buzzard. regardless of whatever form i come back in i sur as hell hope i've retained the wisdom and understandings i've gained by knowing you and this campfire... p

nina said...

That health insurance sounds a lot like the reverse mortgage scam, just two of the more obvious rips we are funneled into.

And yes, it is depressing to realize the extent of these scams, they are everywhere, nothing happened to prevent them. In fact, by not participating in a scam you become a criminal. You know the score. By law, nonparticipants refusing to be "marks" are subject to fines, property confiscation and/or jailed for nonpayment under the healthcare reform overseen by the IRS.

Just the mere fact that the IRS is the agency of oversight for mandated health insurance tells us all we need to know.

Having no assets at all is probably the only legally innocent position short of moving to another country.

None of this would be happening if we took care of ourselves, expected nothing from them as if the massive health industry never existed. There is no offer good enough that you, yourself, cannot do better. They have it completely backwards, peace of mind is being free of scams.

M in Oregon said...

Interesting article on the UFO's...

link seemed broken

here's where I found it<

Hopefully it posts OK...

M in Oregon said...

Oops... works if you remove the less than symbol ( < ) from the end

freeacre said...

Thanks, M in Oregon! I don't remember a comment from you before - welcome to the campfire. I'm kinda expecting some sort of Event to divert our attention from the financial debacle - wonder if this is gonna be it? Plenty of popcorn on hand for the show.

Don't worry too much, p. The "Fat Like Me" reference was sort of a reference to the old book, "Black Like Me" from back in the day...
Made some headway on the health front - got an appointment to see a Chinese medicine/Naturopath in Bend for Monday. May just use this crisis to get myself off all these false pharmaceutical drugs. Been daydreaming about Ecuador...

RAS said...

Hey campfire. I've been having a rough time lately. I found out yesterday that I have some hormone issues that will make it very difficult if I ever try to have a baby. I don't need any comments about overpopulation and all of that; it still hurts, especially since we can't adopt.

I still can't seem to find a better job, and I can't seem to make a profit at my business and we are having a lot of financial problems. We just had a major car repair that took all of our savings and then some; then we popped a tire, and on and on. I've tried several times to explain the problem to K, but she's the eternal optimist and didn't get it until I sat her down and said "Look, we're three hundred dollars shy of having the money to cover our bills for the rest of the month. What are we going to do?"

Now we're worried about her job as well. They've laid off three people, axed the family health insurance, and cut the salaries of all the top people. K's mom runs the place and she warned us that it was coming, and she's told us that it will get worse.

We may have to give up the house we're living in, the one I bought back when I had a really good job. The payment keeps going up even though it's a fixed rate mortgage because of mysterious "fees" and such. It's now half of K's take home pay.

Sorry to hijack the thread. I'm just really depressed and upset.

Anonymous said...

Freeacre, my sister, if you looked like a three legged whale you would still be the finest red hot momma i ever knew thats for goddam sure.!!!
good thing your taken..

stoney13 said...

Well! Oddly enough I wore 32 waist jeans from the time I got out of high school to a point in time right before I married Hazel. It was at this point in time that my ass began to grow to enormous proportions! Now barely ten years later I have a 54 waist, and all the exercise, salad munching, weight lifting, and inner soul searching will not make this very odd condition go away!

A friend of mine was telling me yesterday about his niece. It seems that this child, at the tender age of nine, suddenly grew an adult set of breasts, and had her first period. The child's doctor says it's normal, but I'm trying to remember how many nine year old girls I knew in the Fourth Grade with breasts and the number keeps popping back to zero!

Go to the grocery store, pick up a can of soup, and read the contents on the label. Go ahead! I fucking DARE you! You can't do it without a degree in chemistry! Is there something in the food? The answer is a resounding YES! there sure as shit IS something in the food, and you don't know what it is, and neither do I! Those that do, either just aren't telling us, or they have a vested interest in keeping us in the dark!

Now! here's a James Thurber story for Hot Springs Wizard! Good for a chuckle at least!

The Bear Who Let It Alone
by James Thurber

In the woods of the Far West there once lived a brown bear who could take it or leave it alone. He would go into a bar where they sold mead, a fermented drink made of honey, and he would have just two drinks. Then he would put some money on the bar and say, “See what the bears in the back room will have,” and he would go home.
But finally he took to drinking by himself most of the day. He would reel home at night, kick over the umbrella stand, knock down the bridge lamps, and ram his elbows through the windows. Then he would collapse on the floor and lie there until he went to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed, and his children were very frightened.

At length the bear saw the error of his ways and began to reform. In the end he became a famous teetotaler and a persistent temperance lecturer. He would tell everybody who came to his house about the awful effects of drink, and he would boast about how strong and well he had become since he gave up touching the stuff. To demonstrate this, he would stand on his head and on his hands, and he would turn cartwheels in the house, kicking over the umbrella stand, knocking down the bridge lamps, and ramming his elbows through the windows. Then he would lie down on the floor, tired by his healthful exercise, and go to sleep. His wife was greatly distressed, and his children were very frightened.

Moral: you might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.

murph said...


Gees sister. You are having some problems for sure. I sure hope they don't turn into predicaments. Sure sounds like tough times right now. Sorry it is happening. I gather that you haven't gone to Tennessee yet?

Hang in there lady.

freeacre said...

Well, ras, nothing helps like money. Personally, I am going to the site for your wonderful soaps:

and ordering a case. Half for us and half for Christmas presents to assorted people. I may see how they sell at the Grange Market. It they sell, I'll order more.

Don't despair over the hormone problem. Just when you think you can't, things change. Maybe when conditions are right, and you are in the position to offer a secure home, the Universe will oblige. Right now, it's hard enuf just taking care of each other.

"Fear is the mind-killer." You will prevail. How's that book coming on Kindle? You are a great writer, too. Don't give up.

Montana, oh, you are sweet. No wonder you have half the ladies on the res asking you over...

Hot Springs - regarding your picture - your level of fitness would be my goal. Actually, I'd be happy just to have no tan lines.... :)

freeacre said...

Yes, Nina, I think the Oregon Health Insurance is a lot like a reverse mortgage scam, although I am no expert, just experienced at being fucked over. Sen. Wyden is supposed to be one of the Good Guys. But, he supports CAFTA and NAFTA and fought for this health insurance bullshit. There is a big difference between Health CARE and Health INSURANCE. What a rip. I'm going to vote Green or Libertarian or Pirate Party or None of the Above, or whatever else is not Democrat or Republican for his position. Fuck 'em.

All this shit does get to me.

RAS said...

Wow, I hadn't even read everything yet when I posted this morning. I'm sorry, fa. Health insurance is a scam and as for the other, hell yes there's something in the food! High-fructose corn syrup, chemicals whose names no one can pronounce, hormones, etc. It's messing with our bodies big time.

Thanks for all the kind words. We've had more than our share of pain this year, for sure. No, we're not living on the land yet and probably won't be for a while as we don't have any place to live up there and no money to put a place there. The damn car took all of our savings. And more lovely news came in the mail today; they've raised our property taxes here by $150 a year, so our payment is going to go up AGAIN.

Hotspringswizard said...

Hey there Stoney :-)I hope my initial post here did not give you the impression that I was naysaying people who wish to drink. Why I drank beer and wine for decades and had a whole lot of good times :-)Drinking just does not fit with the new path I'm walking, and that is just my preference, and not a judgement of anyone else :-)

Freeacre, have you ever considered getting a Lap Band. My wife brought this up when I was telling her about your recent entry. Freeacre you most likely have considered most options perhaps including this one already. Just thought I'd mention it.

Along with all the rest of the unfairness in this world clearly there are people in this world who deride folks about their weight, like my stepdad who used to offer up his rude comments about my " size ". I almost gave him a piece of my mind on a few occasions, but now I don't have to deal with his insensitivity on this subject anymore.

Speaking of our troubled economy and times, my wife works for YRC a big national trucking company and in the last five years its size has fallen to less than half as big as it was. People are still getting let go and we really don't know from month to month when the axe might take my wifes job too.

I've got lots of friends who have hit the skids hard, with one who's unemployment is running out in two months and he has nothing else. He said he has relatives in Las Vegas that would take him in but that town is now the un-employment capital of the nation so his chances of finding work there are nill. At least he would have a roof over his head.

Also my wife had been feeling tired of late and was taking medication for her thyroid. But then they did a scan and said they are seeing some kind of growth on her thryroid so she is off the medication and after six weeks then they will do some other type of scan to more clearly define what it may be.

So far our family has been pretty much trouble free for the most part regarding having to deal with the medical scam sharks. The medical industry and all of its rampant corruption is wrecking families across the nation as we all know, and I fear the day when someone in our family really gets some ailment that is very expensive, when we will most likely find out just how much our medical insurance really doesn't cover. To me it all adds up to another purposeful way that the elites are breaking down the middle class back to serfdom.

Hey Freeacre when I am feeling down I usually notice that I'm just constantly mulling over and over, like a washing machine, an assortment of ills that are causing me to worry which can build itself up in intensity like a snowball. When I'm feeling that way I get back to the basics of the things necesary to get through the day and shut the negative washing machine off for a time.
This is what I do to " reset " myself back to a better mood :-)

I know everyone has lots of differant things they are dealing with and that many times troubling problems cannot just be simply forgotten or sidestepped. Hope you are feeling better Freeacre.

We can at least try everyday to leave a postivie impresion in the fabric of the people's lives we interact with and that alone can consistently put a smile on our face. I know you give much of yourself to others Freeacre and this is just one of the things I appreciate in your character :-)

stoney13 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stoney13 said...

Hotspringswizard, Nope not at all! It was just that reading your post reminded me of that old James Thurber story, and thought it would give you a chuckle! Here's one I wrote Myself about my old bulldog Brutus who died about twelve years ago.

An email from Freeacre triggered the memory, so I put the story in a return email, and now I'll share it with the campfire!

For fifteen years I shared my home with a huge, happy, lovable Stafordshire Terrier named Brutus who adopted cats and skunks. Some of my neighbors who had met Brutus, and knew his temperament, started wild rumors about "The Hairy Wild Man with the hot rod, motorcycle and monstrous killer dog", as a joke. These rumors spread to include my Native American Ancestry, and skill at playing the drums.

Brutus in the meantime would meet the elderly people who walked by the house and join them on their strolls through the neighborhood, acting as their guard, and enjoying the attention and snacks they brought him. Oddly enough these acts did nothing to assuage the rumors of the "monstrous killer dog"!

stoney13 said...

One day I came home late one evening to see a skunk eating out of Brutus' food dish. I quickly, and carefully unlocked the door, and went inside as that I didn't want to make the skunk uneasy. Uneasy skunks tend to make for very unpleasant surroundings! A week later I came home to find Brutus curled up on his favorite rug on the front porch with the skunk curled up next to his head!

Figuring out that I was going to deal with this skunk, I carefully, and quietly sat down and began scratching Brutus' ears. An hour later the skunk had decided I was no threat had crawled in my lap for a belly rub. Skunks are very friendly, and fearless animals, and as long as you don't startle them, and let them get used to you on their own terms, they warm up pretty quickly! They also eat copperheads, and rattlesnakes which was a BIG plus! She moved in under my garage apartment, and promptly had baby skunks who would come visiting, by climbing out the hole that the pipes for the hot water heater came through. I found this out when I woke up one morning with all five of them in bed with me curled up in my hair! A little ear scratching and some belly rubs won them over, and they did nothing to make my life any more complicated than it already was!

Brutus fell in love with them, and I would see them curled up with him on the front porch after I came home from work. Everything was wonderful, all God's creatures were happy, and the neighbors had much to discus concerning the "Wild Hairy Man of the Mountain" who charmed skunks with his monstrous killer dog!

stoney13 said...

Then we had the escaped convict! Seems one of the honor grade boys at the local prison camp took an unscheduled leave of absence from his work release program. This upset the Sheriff's Department very much and they came out in mass to find him. The little Village of Flat Rock where I lived at the time in the garage apartment behind my Dad's house had five stop signs, and no police at all. When the convict "escaped" we had the entire Henderson County Sheriff's Department crawling around in the shrubbery with assault rifles! They were knocking on doors at three AM to make sure nobody else in Flat Rock got any sleep, since they weren't. And they set up roadblocks with lots of flashing lights, since nobody is on the roads in Flat Rock at 3 AM except possums, and raccoons, and, they don't drive cars!

It was during this exercise in futile excess, that one of the Deputies came scuttling across the yard to beat on my father's door. Dad, who had lived in Flat Rock for many years knew that if he just stayed in bed and was quiet, the Deputy would get bored, and go fuck with somebody else, which is precisely what happened. The Deputy walked across the yard and got within five feet of my front door.

That was Brutus' cue to come flying across the yard at top speed, hit the Deputy at chest level, lie down on top of him, and lick his face until the flavor got old!

I was awoken by the Deputy's screams, and screams they were! They were not whoops! Neither were they yelps! They were screams! High-pitched, womanly screams! The kind that debutantes make in cheap movies when they discover the rope they just grabbed is a live snake!

Brutus, having finished with the unfortunate Deputy jumped up and bounded around the back of the garage. It was then that I saw the Deputy suddenly sit up and proceed backwards in a strange crablike scuttle while I watched from the window and donned pants and boots.

stoney13 said...

I accessorized my attire with a Mossberg 500 shotgun, and walked out the front door, to see the deputy backed up against the door of my old '62 Falcon. He was regarding five adolescent skunks sitting patiently in his lap with wide staring eyes, and making small noises in the back of his throat.

"Don't sweat it man, they're real friendly" I told him, "Just don't make any quick moves, 'cause that makes 'em nervous, and you don't want to make 'em nervous!".

The Deputy slowly raised his head and stared blankly at me standing there, resplendent in my boots and blue jeans, shotgun in hand. He began making a different sort of small noises in the back of his throat. Brutus came bouncing back around, took a seat beside him, and began licking the side of his head. The wide staring eyes rolled slowly to regard this new intrusion.

"Don't sweat Brutus, either" I added "He's real friendly too!"

"Uh, can I help you up?" I asked as the skunks abandoned his lap and bounced playfully on the bulldog.

"Yea, thanks." he muttered softly, and grabbed the hand I offered him.

I led him inside, sat him at the table, and poured him a cup of coffee. He stared at the cup of coffee as if he expected it to suddenly grow a set of legs and perform a tap dance.

It was then that there was knock on the door, and I opened it to three Deputies.

"Come on in Guys," I told them, " I think this is yours!"

I led them to my kitchen where the first deputy had spooned creamer in to his coffee, and was slowly sipping it as if he still expected something profound to come out of it.

"Jackson, what are you doing?" one of the new Deputies asked him.

"Dog!" moaned Jackson, "Big dog!"

"Brutus spooked him'" I told the Deputy.

"Skunks!" Jackson added. "There were skunks! They crawled on me! I saw them!"

"Yea, they're Brutus' skunks," I explained, "He adopted them when their mother kicked them out the nest. They're real friendly."

"Your dog has skunks?" the Deputy demanded as he helped Jackson to his feet and led him to the door.

"Yep. Weird isn't it?" I remarked, "Uh, I think Jackson there could use some rest. He looks kinda addled to me".

"Yea we could all use some rest! They found the escaped prisoner safe in his bunk!" mumbled one of the new deputies, "The guard didn't check him in when he came in from work release!"

I didn't feel the least bit guilty when I called in sick later that morning. Gotta love small town life!

Anonymous said...

That's goddamn HILARIOUS, Stoney!!!


freeacre said...

OMG, Stoney! You get the "Mark Twain" Campfire Short Story Award. I can't stop giggling! Thanks.

Charles Hugh Smith said...

Freeacre, I recently came across my 6th grade school photo circa 1965 (in L.A.) and noticed all the girls were very much still girls. The insanity of puberty at 9-10 years old is thus *recent* which means the hormones in the meat etc. are changes the culture has absorbed in less than 35 years.

As you note, it's all about the big profits: for making/sell garbage food, then for dieting/surgery "solutions" and lastly to "manage" diabetes....

Health is related to a lot more things than weight alone... I am "thin" but also have high blood pressure and high cholesterol despite eating healthy--so one size does NOT fit all....

There is a negative correlation between watching food programs on TV and actually cooking--the more TV kids watch, the less they actually cook.

To learn how to cook, step one is smash the TV and cancel cable/dish. If you know how to cook, then all those foodie TV shows come across as a new (tiresome) flavor of porn.

In related news, apparently a number of young people in Japan are swearing off sex and romance as disappointing... cooking and sex are both in decline because "the real thing" can't measure up to the porn.

Anonymous said...

goddam it this has to be in two pieces so maybe its just to much bullshit for one comment. o well here goes.

fucking great story stoney,would of loved to of seen the look on the cops face, those are episodes of life to cherish in a world where cops think they are bulletproof and are gods chosen ones to instill fear in the hearts of the heathens. (us'uns)
you know i am glad the topic of health is on the table because it is paramount to be in as good a shape as humanly possible in the coming times i think.

i have a little story also about personal misadventure i guess, when i entered federal prison for the heinous crime of growing some of gods marijuana for fun and profit one of the first things i was informed of by the brothers was this, with great serious overtones,""don't get sick in prison""!!!
needless to say i did not get sick,
and this is how it did not happen,
in the federal system,(don't know bout the state system but rumors by guys i met in the fed. system say its fucked) anyway here it is , i lived off the salad bar which was pretty expansive i must admit, that and making yogurt in my cell, and also a friend of mine who worked the grounds, (lawns and shit) turned me on to a little flower called ''purple cone flower" otherwise 'echinacea'!! the roots of which have the incredible power of enhancing the immunity system to the point where all the sickness that passed in and out of prison effected none of us that had access to this marvelous wander of nature.
i kissed some serious ass to the head honcho and became a grounds keeper myself and the closely guarded secret that grew right under the guards noses was our godsend to health.
A recent godsend to me also is something called ''essential oils''
now these oils of which at first encounter i boohooed mostly because of the cost i now will not live without if i can get them, these oils (i get them from ''Young Living'' through a good friend are one of the most amazing things i have ever encountered in regard to maintaining extreme health,
just google ''young living'' and get it, this is especially for Pangolin, you will not regret this my friend,
bullshit part one,. two coming

Anonymous said...

p you are such a stud..!~
wizard, i'm really impressed at your determination, me i have not one single once of will power, i don't even think i know what it means, serious.

the thing also mentioned is prejudice, this is a loaded word for sure ain't it, does it mean pre judge? i think it does, or something similar, we have went through this before back awhile, don't remember when, but this word describes much of what is going on that has the world in such a mess i think and i'll tell you why i think this, its very obvious if its thought about a little because every activity that human endeavors in is loaded with prejudice, prejudice is just not connected with nigers, jews,rednecks, hippies or shit like that, thats to obvious, what is not so obvious is the fact that all action is derived from a previous experience with said encounter on some level, right,? i mean when i see a sunflower my mind immediately says ''sunflower'', ok that is easy now what about when we string an entire sentence together with each word in the sentence interpreted according to the experience each has with that word. see what i mean,? in reality there is no truth in actual comprehension as to what another says,
of course we think we do and yes when i say blue paint for the bath room we think we know what is said but look at all the shades of blue.
this sounds infantile doesn't it,? but its not.
the fact that we cannot communicate is obvious
because otherwise we would not kill each other or fight or destroy the earth or any of the nasty shit.
ok the deeper sense of this notion is that what is missing is the same old song i always sing, we cannot communicate with our own selfs and therefore with no one else except on a rather banal level which is ok as long as both are packing arms.
this is stupid and i really don;t know where to go with it, i know its important but feel like i just don't have enough grey matter to piece it all together, p seems to know, denial is one huge son of a bitch thats for sure, someone calls me and asshole and i say fuck you i'm not an asshole and know goddam well its the truth but cling to some notion that ''hey that ain't me'' thats a little denial, there are great ones that take a mighty leap of faith that somehow there is enough courage to actually look inside and observe what's happening without prejudice, to look without condemning or praising or whatever it is that i see.
this is a bitch and hard to do! fucking a for sure, and i know there are some here know what i'm talking about,
p does;
enough bullshit for now,
saw this the other day and thought i would throw it in for grins..

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming,
peace and love

Hotspringswizard said...

Great story there Stoney :-) I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the dogs I have had over the years. I have four now and wonderful friends they are :-)And your time communing with the skunks too, what a special experience!

su said...

really like those coloured carrots. never seen anything like it.

Anonymous said...


only if one can say they knew you.

but... now that we know...

that would have to include su


freeacre said...

Those carrots, su, are a mixture that includes Red Rocket and Purple Haze carrots, some in a Rainbow pack that had the white-yellow ones, then some orange sugar carrots. Those are the most colorful carrots we've grown so far. Radishes, too, came in colors of white, lavender, pink and red.
You and Charles were talking about real beauty, instead of confusing beauty with ugliness over at Nina's fire. Just think of all the lovely things that the earth willingly gives us for free.

su said...


the other day i purchased something other than food.
a rare event.
a knife, a sharp knife.
my sons constantly 'borrow' the objects for bow making or such.
so i stepped out and spent about 7 dollars on a wilkinson paring blade.

that evening as i was preparing a meal, and slicing effortlessly through the tomato I commented to my 17 year old son how lucky i was.
he said 'why because you have a new knife?'
and i said yes that and because of the most extreme, profound, brilliant delight that this purchase created.
how blessed am i to need so little to be appreciative.
we don't get seeds like that here. monsanto is here in force. will have to access them from overseas.

murph said...


Yup, Monsanto has seed stock locked up in a lot of areas. They are single handed destroying plant diversity on this mud ball. It's sad, it is going to cause even more grief. So much of human activity is degrading the environment and ecology at an alarming rate. I often wonder where it's going to end and in what state.